Calgary, Alberta, Canada metal/industrial duo The Unravelling just released their sophomore album, Tear a Hole in the Collective Vision, on August 7. After releasing two singles, Revolt and Master Drone, in rapid succession earlier this year, the album came together just as quickly. It is a speedy comeback five years in the making for one of the 2010s most promising metal groups.
Vocalist and lyricist Steve Moore was sidelined shortly after The Unravelling’s first album, 13 Arcane Hymns, by a cancer diagnosis and a subsequent four-year recovery process. Moore’s partner, Gustavo DeBeauville, continued to produce music during this period and saved material for Moore’s return to music. This, presumably, is how The Unravelling was able to release Tear a Hole in the Collective Vision so quickly. Despite its speedy release, the new album from this prodigal duo rivals the quality and passion of their first effort over five years ago.
April’s Revolt was the first single from The Unravelling since the band’s meteoric rise through the metal charts in 2010. 13 Arcane Hymns earned Moore and DeBeauville an award for Best Album Production at the 2010 Alberta Metal Awards, as well as accolades from the likes of Metalsucks.com, Metalunderground.com, and Metal Insider. The release of Revolt and Master Drone a month later saw The Unravelling’s praise from the press pick up right where it left off.
As previews to the new album, Revolt and Master Drone demonstrate The Unravelling’s diversity, technical prowess, and passion which are endemic on all of the duo’s work. Each of Moore’s lyrical pieces are designed to make a particular point, and these poems, for lack of a better word, are paired with DeBeauville’s musical pieces to create the right tone and feel to the overall track. The genius of The Unravelling is thus in the juxtaposition of lyrics and music. With each song serving as a multi-layered experience, it gets to the heart of whatever Moore and DeBeauville want to communicate.
The rest of Tear a Hole in the Collective Vision reflects the group’s dedication to integrating metal, industrial, and darkwave elements, just as much as the first two singles. For DeBeauville’s part, the music is well-composed and establishes a very characteristic drum loop style, which was not quite as present on 13 Arcane Hymns. This heavy electronic drum beat is the element most responsible for the industrial tinge to this album. On the new album, Moore’s vocals and lyrics are stronger than ever, driving home through various stories and declarations his central point of subverting the established reality by any means necessary.
One track which is bereft of DeBeauville’s signature industrial drum tracks is the title song, but it still manages to be one of the most powerful on The Unravelling’s sophomore album. Tear a Hole in the Collective Vision is slow in tempo but the musical samples and guitars are haunting as well as evocative. Moore’s vocals are similarly minimal in the beginning. The lyrics speak quietly of a rogue band of cultural refugees, biding their time for an opportunity to overthrow the oppression of the current system. As the song gains steam and moves toward the crescendo, a militaristic beat is introduced by DeBeauville and Moore’s vocals grow in power and passion. The lyrics become a call to arms to quite literally “…tear a hole in the collective vision.” It is a powerful summation of the central point in all Moore’s lyrics, accompanied by DeBeauville’s equally powerful music.
The Unravelling feel so strongly about their music and the politics of what they are trying to do that they are offering Tear a Hole in the Collective Vision, as well as the rest of their catalog, for free streaming and download on their Bandcamp page. Happy to be back in action, Moore and DeBeauville hope to tour in support of this album soon. In the meantime, the metal and industrial communities are just happy to have The Unravelling back, in addition to having Tear a Hole in the Collective Vision as the first offering from this talented group in over five years.
Opinion and Review By Layla Klamt
Edited By Leigh Haugh
Bandcamp.com: The Unravelling, “Tear a Hole in the Collective Vision”
The Unravelling Bio Courtesy of Independent Music Promotions
Images Courtesy of The Unravelling Media Kit